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My brother has decided to launch a 4e campaign with a group of total D&D newbies, his first attempt at DM'ing ever, and he wants to run the adventure series that begins in the Red Box and finishes in the Monster Vault. He seems a bit confused over the order so I'm posting here on his behalf to see if he's got it correct. He's asked his players to all run the solo adventure from the Red Box first and then the followup solo downloadable adventure. Then they are going to have their first group session where they build their characters followed by starting the Twisted Halls.
1. Red Box Solo Adventure
2. Ghost tower of the Witchlight Fens (the downloadable solo adventure from the Red Box code)
3. The Twisted Halls from the Red Box DM book
4. Dungeon of the Ghost Tower from Dungeon #182
5. Reavers of Harkenwald from the DM Kit
6. Cairn of the Winter King from the Monster vault
Did he miss anything? Has anyone actually run this exact progression? If so, any words of advice?
He's played 4e a fair bit in some of my own games, but is extremely nervous about DM'ing himself and thinks the Essentials progression will make his life easier. I'm kinda on the fence about using the red box because I don't like that it builds strange characters that have to then be rebuilt, but he's sold on it.
All suggestions welcome.
I personally consider Madness at Gardmore to be #7 on your list. I would just skip #2 and go straight into the Twisted Halls after #1. To be honest, I didn't think too much of "Dungeon of the Ghost Tower", although it is bearable. That said, their PCs should be at level 2 after #1 and #3, so they could go straight to Reavers, which is what I would do personally. If they played thru #1-4, I think they would be well past Level 2 when they start Reavers, which is not a good thing imo. #2 was just like a marketing gimmick anyway, and has no real crucial info in it. Of course, he doesn't have to give out the exact XP, and can just make it so they hit Level 2 as they start Reavers.
That said, I think Reavers, Cairn, and Gardmore are all among the best adventures Wizards released. Just make sure he knows that not all of Reavers has maps, which can be a bit frustrating for new DMs when you get to the Keep, bc everything up until that point has battle maps.
Also, I would advise against doing the PC transition from Red Box to Essentials during Reavers, which is what would normally happen if you exhaust the Red Box. I would pitch him on transitioning them right after Twisted Halls, before they get too deep.
A good sequence is: The Slaying Stone (HS1) (lvl 1) -> Reavers of Harkenwold (DM's Kit) (lvls 2-4) -> Cairn of the Winter King (Monster Vault) (lvl 4) -> Orcs of Stonefang Pass (HS2) (lvl 5)-> Madness at Gardmore Abbey (lvls 6-8). These modules are considered to be among the best published by WotC.
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